Capstone Brainstorm

What up y’all. Per my signature, I’ve opened this New Post 55 minutes before the deadline, so let’s hope I can crank something out in time. Having read the syllabus, I can see that I’m gonna have to do something about my procrastination; I highly doubt cutting it this close will work with projects of the Capstone magnitude. But, you know… I’ll figure that out tomorrow or something.

Before I get into the Content or Form that I want my Capstone project to take on, I need to think on an even more macro scale — specifically, what purpose I want my project to serve. Usually, going into an assignment I tailor my topic or idea to what fits the assignment best (or, more realistically, to what will swing best with the teacher and get me that A), but I knew going into this class that, with a project with the scope that this offers, my usual plan of attack wouldn’t cut it. And during our first session, when Ray talked about the jobs people have procured by way of the projects generated in this course, I realized that I shouldn’t be thinking of this as another assignment but as, potentially, the first real professional grade piece of writing that I create.

With implications that colossal, I need to be thinking a little farther in the future than the A. As far as professional goals, I don’t have much going on — world domination, superstardom, all the usual shit that totally realistic and pragmatic college seniors should be thinking about. But in all seriousness, I’ve always said my dream job would be an author… but like a cool author, who hangs out with Future and Drake and makes culturally important AND impactful works. You know, stylish stuff, but with a little bit of substance there, too.

So, with that goal in mind, and maybe, just maybe, with this project as a stepping stone to get there, here are some ideas for paths to take it down.

Content: God, where to begin. I can’t imagine myself making a work that I vaguely care about without it somehow involving music, so I guess that’s gotta be in there somewhere (hip-hop, in particular, because I adore music but have no musical talent, so naturally, as a writer, I’m drawn to the most lyrical of music forms). But like I said, it’s gotta have some substance too. As far as capital-I Important topics go, I think a lot about the fragility of the male ego, white privilege, mental illness, addiction — topics that, now that I think about it, are interwoven with hip-hop. Then again, I also think a lot about the meaning of life and the fleeting nature of youth and those maybe aren’t all that interwoven with hip-hop. But all in all, in pursuit of creating a product that I’m passionate about rather than one I think the person whose grading it would be passionate about, I’d rather find a way to mesh content together that I care a lot about, rather than find content that meshes together well a make a product that I don’t care about.

Form: Naturally, my mind jumps straight to lyrics because I’ve had little if any academic opportunities (save for, funnily enough, in Writing 220) to explore my favorite writing discipline. However. That would be too boring and kind of unfair, plus I’m nowhere near as open to criticism as I need to be when it comes to that kind of stuff. So while I want to explore lyricism somehow in this project, I’d rather it made up like 5% of my project rather than 95%. So I’d like to find some way to fuse that form into the project, possibly into a more traditional writing discipline? Maybe like a Shakespearean one-act where all of the soliloquies are freestyles or something. Just kidding, sort of.

What I want to know more about: More difficult, because like most 20 year olds I like to pride myself on knowing everything. I guess short stories have always popped out at me as an interesting art form? Interesting, that is, in the way that most things that scare me interest me. And to be clear, I’m not talking “The Lottery” here, nor am I talking David Sedaris… writing short-form novels or explicitly personal vignettes just plain scare me. But more of middle ground between the two — like Junot Diaz or some unholy combination of Jay Z and Garrison Keillor — scares me in that it maybe wouldn’t come easy to me, but also interests me because as much as I’ve aspired to noveling, there’s something to be said for creating thematic ties versus an overarching narrative. And as far as the STYLE side of things goes, this could be a nice form to try out.

So that’s what I’ve got for tonight, and the deadline is ringing so I guess that’s all for now folks. Tune in next week for more existential dread and hopefully (but almost definitely not) a more cohesive plan for my future. My future in this class, I mean.




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